Sex Addiction Case Study: Marcus

SEX ADDICTION: Marcus’ Story

Marcus was a successful salesman who travelled nationally in pursuit of his work. Although he was married, he actually spent little time at home. He loved his wife, but sex with her never seemed to be enough. He thought that he simply had a very high libido and it wasn't until his addiction to sex began to interfere with his work and to threaten his marital life did he decide to seek help for his problem. He was then in his mid 40s.

At every opportunity he had, Marcus used to access the internet, surfing porn sites from home, and if he could manage it, he would sneak out and have a rendezvous with someone he had sex chat with online. When he was on the road working, he would think nothing of picking up a sex worker or two and spending a few hours having sex, no matter how much it cost. As soon as he had sex, however, he wanted more. His sexual encounters ultimately left him wanting more and he was not able to stop himself.

Marcus first began to reconsider his actions and to think more thoughtfully about the possibility that he might have a problem when he discovered he had an STD. Luckily it was one that could easily be treated, but he was severely shaken when he imagined his wife asking him why she had an STD if he was the only person she was having sex with. He then realised that his behaviours were out of his control and that he needed help, otherwise at some point he was going to be found out and he stood to lose everything he valued in his life.

Marcus decided to find a psychologist or counsellor who could help him understand his compulsions and help him control his behaviour. When he first booked the appointment he was pleased that the person on the telephone seemed nice and did not seem judgmental when he told them why he needed the appointment. When he went to his first appointment and met Hannah, he was pleased to find that she was easy to talk to and was primarily interested in hearing his story. She listened intently and did not interrupt or talk about her own beliefs about sex, which was refreshing.

After several sessions, Marcus came to realize that his behaviour had not only placed his own health in jeopardy, but had thoughtlessly placed his wife’s health in danger too. Marcus was hesitant to talk to his wife about what he had been doing. Hannah suggested that he should invite his wife to a few sessions so that he could talk to her while Hannah was there to help with the conversation. Marcus readily agreed and invited Susan, his wife, to attend a counselling session. He had reluctantly told her that he felt he needed counselling, but he had not shared with her what he was going into therapy for.

When Susan attended their first joint session, she became upset when it was revealed to her what Marcus had been doing, but she was relieved at the same time. She had suspected something of the nature of Marcus’ problems, but she had not had the courage to confront him about it. After several sessions, she and Marcus were able to make some ground rules about his behaviour and they agreed to continued couple counselling sessions in addition to Marcus finishing his work with Hannah individually.

Where Can I Get Counselling for Sex Addiction?

If you or a loved one is struggling with a sexual addiction or compulsive sexual behaviours, you may benefit from talking with a professional counsellor, psychologist or therapist. If you would like more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact us at:

Associated Counselors & Psychologists Sydney

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